Scammer adding to misery

A DESPICABLE phone scammer is targeting flood-affected families in Ipswich with offers of $5000 windfalls.

On Saturday, Marburg resident Yvonne Vollbrecht took a call offering her the cash.

The caller told her it was a limited offer for flood victims.

Ms Vollbrecht rang the Sydney phone number she was given and someone answered as the Australian Tax Department.

To collect the $5000 they advised her to pay $150 into a bank account for UNICEF.

“Alarm bells went off straight away,” she said.

“I can't see a government department being open on the weekend.

“They knew my name, my phone number and that I've been flooded.

“I was suspicious from the start.”

Ms Vollbrecht said the scammers should be brought to some kind of justice.

“It's stressful. You've been through enough when you've been flooded,” she said.

“It's definitely fraud.”

Police have warned of a similar tax scam targeting Queenslanders which involves a person telling the receiver they are due for a tax refund because they have always paid their taxes on time.

The caller has the victim's name and address details when they phone and gives the victim a staff ID number and a return Australian telephone number for any inquiries.

Should the victim call this phone number, it is answered by the initial caller with the tax office greeting, giving the impression the refund is legitimate.

The caller then phones the victim back in a few days time to confirm the victim's bank account details, claiming the first payment didn't go through.

Detective Superintendent Brian Hay of the State Crime Operations Command's Fraud and Corporate Crime Group said the fraudsters would take advantage of any person prepared to surrender their bank account details.

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